Geo was once General Motors’ island of misfit brands, and today’s Nice Price or No Dice Tracker was the marque’s cute-ute from partner Suzuki. What might so convoluted a past be worth in today’s dollars?
Earlier this week, a group of researchers announced the completion of their analysis of a large set of fossilized footprints that had been found on a beach along Spain’s Atlantic coast. The impressions were left, the researchers said, by a group of Neanderthals who passed that way more than 100,000 years ago.
Not everything that stands the test of time should be automatically considered to be of intrinsic value. Take yesterday’s 1975 Opel Manta for instance. That little coupe looked like it had just rolled off the assembly line and had only done a little over 20,000 miles since it actually had. That condition, however, couldn’t muster much enthusiasm for the seller’s set $16,500 price. Based on your comments, it was that price, along with the car’s fun-sucking three-speed automatic transmission, that caused the Opel to suffer an overwhelming 84 percent No Dice loss.
Opel was once the “captive import” brand of General Motors. The parent company gave up on keeping it captive back in the ’70s, but never really lost the yen for having some sort of import-fighting brand in its stable. A decade after giving the Opel nameplate the heave-ho here in the States, GM introduced a whole new brand name: Geo. This was to be a catchall for a bunch of cars and trucks built by three separate partners at factories located variously around the globe. Geo would eventually follow Opel into the annals of captive import history, but its most successful models would outlive the brand, being re-branded as Chevrolets before dying off as well.
This 1997 Geo Tracker is one of those successful models, and 1997 would be the last year it would be branded as a Geo. The Tracker was a Suzuki product, built in the GM/Suzuki joint-venture plant at Ingersoll, Ontario. While the badging said Geo — and later Chevrolet — there was little else to distinguish the model from the Suzuki Sidekick it was based on.
While also available as a four-door wagon and hard-top, this Tracker is the cute-ute convertible. That’s probably the most desirable edition to have, and this one is made all the more attractive by being capped with a two-piece fiberglass hardtop. That makes it look a little bit like an Igloo ice chest.
The two-door rides on an amazingly short 86.6-inch wheelbase and only clocks in at a tad over 11 feet overall. Its small size is what made the Tracker an easy car to maneuver and park. That size also made it a great vehicle to tow behind an RV for use as a runabout at the KOA once you’d set up camp.
That was apparently this Tracker’s lot in life. Evidence of such is offered by the tow bar hookup below the front bumper. It’s also noted as such in the ad which claims that many of the truck’s estimated 165,000 miles were done as an also-ran to an RV. Those miles are only estimated since the odometer apparently broke at 147K.
Trackers were available with four-wheel drive, but this one just turns the back tires. It does so by way of a 96-horsepower 1.6-liter four backed by a five-speed manual transmission. That combo should offer reasonable miles per gallon when not counting on an RV to do its work for it.
Overall, this Tracker looks to be in very nice shape, It wears paint that pops and chunky factory alloys that show no curbing. The interior, too, looks only lightly used and features cheerful cloth upholstery of the type you rarely see anymore. The rest of the cabin is all plastic and painted metal, but that’s just par for the course. You do get the cool step-down windows in the doors just like you get in a big Ford F-Series today. According to the ad, the air-conditioner blows cold and the title is clear.
The price tag for this former RV accessory is $4,300 and it’s now incumbent on you to judge both the truck and that price. What do you think, is this Geo worth that kind of cash? Or, did this Tracker’s seller lose the scent?
H/T to Eric Weigand for the hookup!
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Updated 3/3/22 with new details.